Smokable Marijuana Is a Safe and Effective Medicine

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The420Guy

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From: Marijuana Policy Project
To: mppupdates@igc.topica.com
Sent: Thursday, July 13, 2000 2:46 PM
Subject: Smokable Marijuana Is Safe and Effective Medicine


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE JULY 13, 2000


THE SCIENTIFIC RESULTS ARE IN:
Smokable Marijuana Is a Safe and Effective Medicine for
People With AIDS

DURBAN, SOUTH AFRICA -- Smoking marijuana helps people with AIDS
gain weight, without causing adverse virologic effects, according to
the results of a study released Thursday at the XIII International
AIDS Conference.

Dr. Donald Abrams, a world-renowned AIDS researcher at the
University of California at San Francisco, has finally completed his
study after *six years* of navigating federal obstacles.

The study was originally designed as an "efficacy" study to focus
on marijuana's medical benefits to people wasting away from AIDS.
Because the National Institute on Drug Abuse has a stranglehold on the
legal supply of marijuana for research purposes, the federal agency
was able to force Dr. Abrams to change his research proposal into a
"safety" study, focusing instead on the potential *negative* health
effects of marijuana in people with AIDS.

"The federal government manipulated the study design to increase
the likelihood that the results would reveal that marijuana harms the
immune system and doesn't boost the appetite," said Chuck Thomas,
director of communications for the Washington, D.C.-based Marijuana
Policy Project. "But the government's plan backfired -- smoking
marijuana did not cause any immunological problems, while it increased
caloric intake and weight gain."

THE RESULTS REVEALED GREATER WEIGHT GAIN AMONG THE MARIJUANA-
SMOKING PATIENTS THAN THE PLACEBO-USING CONTROL GROUP.

"If the federal government would finally allow researchers to focus
on marijuana's medical *benefits*, we could get natural marijuana
approved by the FDA within a couple of years," said Thomas. "That's
what the Clinton administration fears, and that's why they continue to
make it more difficult for researchers to study medical marijuana than
it is for pharmaceutical companies to study their synthetic
compounds."

(See Marijuana Policy Project | We Change Laws for more details on the federal
government's excessive restrictions on medical marijuana research and
the growing coalition of medical groups, members of Congress,
researchers, and celebrities who are calling for change.)

"There are countless people across the nation smoking marijuana to
treat AIDS-related nausea and appetite loss," said MPP's Chuck Thomas.
"This study shows that they're not harming themselves or imagining
their weight gain, and certainly they should not continue to be
subject to arrest and imprisonment."

MPP HAS BEEN PRESSURING THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT FOR THE PAST FIVE
YEARS TO MAKE IT EASIER TO STUDY MARIJUANA'S MEDICAL BENEFITS.

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